Medical malpractice cases are not easy. Insurance companies do not make the process any easier either.
This story will make your blood run cold. It is about a deceased doctor in Connecticut who allegedly sexually abused hundreds of children, right under the noses of the hospital administration where he worked. This case has been in the works for a few years while negotiations were launched. Currently, the hospital is staring down the prospect of settling 17 lawsuits related to this doctor’s actions.
The former deceased employee was Dr. George Reardon, their former chief endocrinologist, accused of using a growth study to take pictures of more than 500 naked children over a 30 year period. The only reason this abuse came to light was because the people who bought Reardon’s old home found close to 60,000 pornographic pictures sealed behind a false wall.
According to the case records, the man practiced at the Hartford facility of the St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. According to the hospital’s insurance company, what they dub an incident should fall under medical malpractice coverage and not general liability coverage. If a judge agrees, this will save the insurance company millions of dollars. In other words, to avoid paying out too much, the insurance company is trying to put this horrid case into another category, instead of where it likely belongs.
There are 17 settlements that should be in the final stages of being formalized. None of the amounts involved in these cases have been revealed, and it is not expected that any further settlements of the 48 remaining cases will be available for the public to read. The remaining cases are not able to proceed until a judge rules on the insurance company’s contention that they should pay restitution out of a different liability fund.
Insurance companies exist for two reasons: to stay in business and make money from those they insure. If they have to pay out more on a claim than they get from the insured individual, they lose money. Losing money means they could go out of business. To save money, insurance companies rely on a formula called the four D’s of handling claims: “diminish, dismiss, deny and delay”, no matter how valid they may be. In this case, they are trying to deny the claims are medical malpractice to save money and delay settlements by going to court.
To be honest, this is one of those cases that speaks for itself, and no amount of fudging where the payments come from is going to change that. If the insurance company just paid out under the medical malpractice category, the issue would be put to rest. However, in the name of money, they want the rest of the victims to wait until they find out if they can swing a different opinion so they don’t have to pay what they should owe. That’s disturbing and borders on unethical.
Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.